Midnight Clown / Payaso de Medianoche

Kids in costumes, Venezuela, early 60's

A kids’ Mardi Gras party, somewhere in Vargas, Venezuela (1963). (English version follows below). Otra linda foto tomada por Pablo José. Aquí estamos varios de los primogénitos de las familias que vivían cerca de la Plaza Lourdes y El Cristo de Maiquetía. Eran los comienzos de lo que terminaría por convertirse en una gran familia de primos. Sin duda, vivimos una infancia protegida y feliz, cerca de las playas del Litoral de Vargas y la brisa marina de los trópicos.  Amiguitos nunca faltaron, qué suerte tuvimos!  La foto me gusta porque atrapa un momento cándido de la fiesta de disfraces. Nadie posa. Una mano anónima intenta -afotunadamente, sin éxito- arrancar una sonrisa falsa a mi pobre prima. El gesto reaparecería en una foto que tomé muchos años después.  El payasito se ve bastante simpático… pero, mucho ojo con los payasos!  Cambian de apariencia en un tris. Jocosos primero y diabólicos después. A nadie le gustaría, por ejemplo, toparse con un payaso caminando en la calle, después de la medianoche*

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This is yet another iconic shot by Pablo José. Here we are, the first-born children of those families living near and around Plaza Lourdes and El Cristo, Maiquetía, Venezuela. This was the beginning of what would eventually turn into a big family of cousins. Ours was, undoubtedly, a protected and happy childhood, as we lived near the beach and enjoyed the seaside breeze of the tropics. We were always surrounded by little friends, so lucky we were… I just love this picture because it captures a candid moment in the midst of that costume party. Nobody is posing for the camera. An anonymous hand attempts to bring a fake smile out of the face of my poor cousin: thankfully, with no success. An almost identical gesture would reappear in a photo I took many years later. The little clown seems like a nice fellow… but watch out for those clowns!  They are the archetypical shape shifters. Nice & laughing one minute, diabolical the next. Nobody wants to bump into a clown walking down the street, after midnight*

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Author: Constantino

A Chemical Engineer born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He has worked for the oil refining industry in threes countries under different capacities. With photography and writing as hobbies, he has traveled the world (and has still to settle somewhere). Loves movies, Latin Jazz, black coffee and red wine... Kampai!

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